Russell J. “Russ” Handy, Aviation Director, City of San Antonio
Russell J. Handy
In January 2017, Russell J. Handy was appointed to serve as the city’s Aviation Director. In this role, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the San Antonio Airport System, made up of the San Antonio International Airport and Stinson Municipal Airport. Combined, the airports account for an economic impact of more than $5.1 billion annually and support approximately 100,000 jobs in the region.
Mr. Handy brings a strong focus on strategic planning initiatives to enhance the customer experience, shepherd the airports’ capital improvement projects and increase the international airport’s air service, both domestic and international.
A retired Air Force Lieutenant General, Mr. Handy previously oversaw multiple commands and held numerous leadership roles in his 34-year military career including oversight of air fields and large-scale command operations.
Most recently, Handy served as Commander of Alaskan Command, Eleventh Air Force and the Alaskan Region of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He was the senior military officer in Alaska, responsible for the integration of all military activities in the Alaskan joint operations area, synchronizing the activities of more than 21,000 active-duty and reserve forces from all services and the training and readiness for all major US Air Force installations and personnel in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam. His responsibilities included planning and execution of all Homeland Defense operations within the theater, including security and civil support actions.
Mr. Handy is a commercial pilot with more than 4100 flight hours in multiple civil and military aircraft. He has participated in numerous combat operations and deployments, including Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Desert Fox, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
Russ and his wife, JoAnn, have two adult children.
Education & training
- 1982 - Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- 1989 - U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School
- 1995 - Army Command and General Staff College
- 1995 - Master of Science, Administration, Central Michigan University
- 2003 - Masters of Science, Strategic Studies, Air University
- 2003 - Air War College
Multiple leadership/development programs, John's Hopkins, Harvard, UNC, Center for Creative Leadership
- American Association of Airport Executives
- Airports Council International
- Texas Commercial Airport Association
- Air Force Association